In the days between March 28 and April 1 of this year, a delegation of representatives of the indigenous peoples of Canada traveled to Rome with some of their bishops for several meetings with Pope Francis. He promised to travel personally to Canada later this summer to continue the dialogue in their “indigenous territories.”
During the concluding meeting, the pope said, “it is my hope that our meetings during these days will point out new paths to be pursued together, will instill courage and strength, and lead to greater commitment on the local level. Any truly effective process of healing requires concrete actions. In a fraternal spirit, I encourage the Bishops and the Catholic community to continue taking steps toward the transparent search for truth and to foster healing and reconciliation. These steps are part of a journey that can favor the rediscovery and revitalization of your culture, while helping the Church to grow in love, respect and specific attention to your authentic traditions. I wish to tell you that the Church stands beside you and wants to continue journeying with you. Dialogue is the key to knowledge and sharing, and the Bishops of Canada have clearly stated their commitment to continue advancing together with you on a renewed, constructive, fruitful path, where encounters and shared projects will be of great help.”
In these pages we will attempt to briefly outline the context of the journey of truth and reconciliation with the indigenous peoples of Canada, in which the pope is intensely engaged, alongside the Canadian Church.